Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter, is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, and lecturer. He attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurological residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 26 years, practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional research. Dr. Blaylock has authored four books, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, and his most recent work, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Find out what others are saying about Dr. Blaylock by clicking here.

The Best Sunblocks

Thursday, 03 May 2012 07:35 AM

Summer is on the way, and so is an increasing need to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. Unfortunately, many of the ingredients used in commercial sunscreens aren't good for your skin and may even be toxic. Fortunately, there are natural agents that can safely protect your skin. Let's take a look at different ingredients used in commercial sunblocks and then at natural solutions:
Commercial topical agents
• Zinc oxide. Instead of the unsightly white or multicolored form of this skin protector, there is a colorless microfine form. It physically blocks UVA and UVB sunlight, and the zinc promotes skin healing and stimulates the cells that replenish skin cells. Frequent (or daily) use may be toxic to the skin.
• Titanium oxide. This product also comes in a microfine particle form. While it effectively blocks UVA and UVB, there is evidence that titanium promotes inflammation so, I would not use it. (For a detailed discussion on inflammation and its role in many diseases, see my newsletter "Inflammation: The Real Cause of Most Diseases.")

• Octinoxate (octyl methoxycinnamate). This is a common ingredient in sunscreens. It effectively protects the skin cells from DNA damage and prevents burning of the skin.
• Oxybezone. This is also a common ingredient in sunscreens, but evidence indicates that it is oxidized when exposed to the sun and can worsen skin damage through free radical generation. If used, it should always be combined with a powerful mix of topical antioxidants.
Natural topical agents
• Green tea. Many studies have shown that, when applied to the skin, green tea — or one of its major flavonoids, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) — significantly protects against UVA and UVB damage and also neutralizes major free radicals in the skin. It also reduces inflammation and prevents sun-related immune suppression. Green tea also appears to prevent skin cancers. (Green and white tea can improve your health in many ways. To learn more, read my report "Miracle Tea.")

• Silymarin (a component of milk thistle). Several studies have shown that when applied topically, silymarin provides the skin with major protection against sun damage and skin cancer.
• Proanthocyanidins (grapeseed extract and pycnogenol). This powerful antioxidant flavonoid not only prevents UV damage but also protects skin’s collagen and elastin, both of which retard skin aging.
• Curcumin. This is a flavonoid found in the spice turmeric. When applied topically, it has been shown to powerfully inhibit skin cancer. It is a very strong antioxidant, reducing inflammation and restoring skin immunity. Because of its yellow color, a colorless form has been created — it is called tetrahydrocurcumi — which can be used topically. It also lightens skin spots associated with aging skin.
• Rosemary. This extract has been proven to powerfully prevent skin cancers induced by a number of agents, including UV radiation.
• Resveratrol. This is found in grape seeds and especially skins. There is evidence that it is what protects grapes from the sun’s harsh rays. Studies indicate that it can do the same for people when given either orally or applied topically.
• Vitamins C, E, and D have all shown protective effects. Vitamin E is one of the skin’s most abundant skin antioxidants.
Oral antioxidants
A number of studies have shown that oral antioxidants provide powerful protection against skin damage from aging and sun exposure. When taken as supplements, all of the above (except titanium oxide, oxybenzone and octinoxate) are protective. Vitamin D3 and a flavonoid called quercetin have been shown to powerfully inhibit melanoma development and even its growth and spread, should it develop.
By combining oral antioxidants with topical sun blockers and topical antioxidant mixtures, you can provide your skin with maximum protection against sun damage and aging.
For more of Dr. Blaylock’s weekly tips, go here to view the archive.

© HealthDay

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